WASHINGTON — The imposition in January of elevated import duties on consumer tires shipped from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam has skewed the U.S. marketplace markedly since then, with imports from Taiwan and Thailand down measurably through the first three months of 2021.
Imports of passenger tires and light truck tires from Taiwan dropped 41.2% and 99.6%, respectively, in the period, according to Commerce Department data. Based on comment from companies that sell tires sourced from Taiwan, imports are likely to keep declining unless Commerce adjusts the duties downward.
Likewise, imports from Thailand fell 16.3% and 28.3%, respectively.
Even though the elevated import duties won't be "official" before mid-June, the U.S. started imposing the preliminary duties on the targeted imports in January, shortly after Commerce ruled that such duties were in order.
Commerce is scheduled to publish its "final" decision May 21 on the pending imposition of elevated import duties on consumer tires from the four Asian lands. The preliminary duties range from 13.25% (Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Co. Ltd.) to as high as 98.44% (Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd., Taiwan).